HHS announces new prevention strategy, grants

The Health and Human Services Department announced new funding opportunities Thursday for community-based healthcare programs, as well as a new framework for focusing on prevention.

HHS announced that $4 million is available to “community-based organizations.” Recipients will help support activities funded by a larger grant opportunity that is oriented toward smoking cessation, healthy diets and preventive healthcare services.

Earlier in the day, HHS released its National Prevention Strategy, a framework that culls various prevention efforts from across HHS agencies and other federal departments. No funding is attached to the strategy, though it could help influence how HHS uses the $15 billion prevention fund included in healthcare reform.

The strategy mostly comprises vague, general items such as improving public awareness of healthy choices.

Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate health committee and a longtime prevention advocate, said at an event Thursday that every dollar spent on prevention yields $6 in healthcare savings.